Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Marvel Fairy Tales by C.B. Cebulski (no spoilers)

Book: Marvel Fairy Tales
Author: C.B. Cebulski
Illistrators: Jod Lemos, Niuno Plati, Takeshi Miyanzawa, Ricardo Tercio, and Kyle Baker
Publication: February 3rd, 2010
Source: Local Library
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Summary (from goodreads):
Re-imagining the greatest Marvel stories through folktales, myths, and fables from across the globe. In Avengers: Fairy Tales see Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of the Avengers as you've never seen them before with all-new interpretations of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, and the Wizard of Oz. In Spider-Man: Fairy Tales, Mary Jane fills the shoes of another famous red-head in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with super hero sensibilities. Will Spider-Man be able to save her on her way to Aunt May's house? And in X-Men: Fairy Tales, it's a re-imagining of the tragic origin of Professor Xavier and Magneto. In the ancient African tale, The Friendship of the Tortoise and the Eagle, dangerous circumstances cause two pals to take violently different life paths... Collects Avengers: Fairy Tales #1-#4, Spider-Man: Fairy Tales and X-Men: Fairy Tales #2.

My Thoughts:
This is my very first graphic novel I have ever read. I had to read a graphic novel for a class I'm taking. The reason I chose this one was that my library owned a copy and I wanted to do something with fairy tales. I found this one. I do think I would enjoy this novel more if I was familar with the Marvel characters, but I will explain more of that below. I kind of see this novel as a collection of short stories since each fairy tale is about 23-25 pages long. Sometimes I think that is too short, but in other stories I was okay with the length. I will put my personal feelings about each fairy tale below.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan is the first short story in this graphic novel and as you all know I have been in a Peter Pan mood lately since reading the classic novel so I was glad to see the story in there. The graphic novel was able to give a good gist of the Peter Pan story in a period of 25 pages, but it didn't really give you a lot of time to follow in love with the characters. On the first page Peter Pan flies in and they fly off to Neverland and before you know it you are at the end of the story. I like that it covered the story, but it didn't really add its own twist that much besides changing a few minor details. I think they needed a bit more time to put a little bit deeper plot development into the story.

Pinocchio was the second story with this one I liked that they altered the story. They changed the dad's name and Pinocchio was a robot named Vision. That is similar to Peter Pan because they changed the names in that story too, but besides that they didn't change much in Peter Pan. I feel like Pinocchio could stand on its own a little bit better than Peter Pan although not fully. Vision (Pinocchio) talked a lot about being bullied because he was different and that is something I completely identify with. I don't feel like Vision's (Pinocchio) actions were justified just because he was bullied. The old saying goes two wrongs don't make a right. Vision's (Pinocchio) conscience in this book was not a cricket, but a fairy and the fairy turns out to be a very surprising person in Vision's (Pinocchio) life. In the end Vision (Pinocchio) makes a selfless decision and that was the biggest change from the original fairy tale or Disney movie as I know Pinocchio.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland is the third story in this graphic novel and so far it is my favorite of the bunch, but don't take that compliment too highly because this story is full of flaws. Alice like Pinocchio talks about how she is bullied and that is how she falls into wonderland where she meets all the characters we have grown to love. In this retelling Cassie (Alice) is a very angry character and I didn't like her in that light. I loved the Cheshire cat pictures and I loved that character. I laughed that the Caterpillar was blue and red because he was supposed to be spider man. The mad hatter and his gang and the king and queen were all still mad, but I don't believe their characters were well executed. It annoyed me so that the dormouse repeated the same phrases over and over again. In the end Cassie (Alice) made an admirable decision and I respect that. My only complaint about the ending is that is was almost too perfect. Most orginal fairy tale endings don't end in happily ever after. Although I really enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland story like Peter Pan I believe it needed more pages to be better developed because at the end of the day most of the characters fell flat because we didn't have the time to know them.

Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz was the fourth story in this graphic novel and my least favorite of the novel. I have to admit Wizard of Oz is not a story that I know well and I have never seen the movie so I don't believe I was the right person to judge this story. I'm not a fan of the Wizard of Oz story to begin with. The girls name was Jennifer (Dorthy) and she set off to see Oz so she could go home. In this retelling Jennifer's (Dorthy) shoes were green instead of red although I have seen the actual shoes and they are actually a dark red, but they changed the color on the screen. Besides that the Witch was weird in this story and did not die in the same way as the movie. The lion, scarecrow, and tin man I don't think were done justice. Again I have a hard time giving an accurate account of this story because I have never seen the movie. I just know little bits and pieces  The ending as far as to my knowledge was kept the same.

Note on the picture: The shoes in the right corner are the actual shoes from the movie. I took that picture at the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C.

Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood probably had the most of the Marvel characters and I also think the Little Red Riding
Hood had one of the better stories developments of the book. At first I wondered how they were going to incorporate Little Red Riding Hood in then she goes off to see Peter's aunt May and I understood. My only complaint about this story was how fast it was over. Once she set off on the path it seemed like the story was over in no time and I just wished it lasted longer and had a bit more story development.

The Friendship of the Tortoise and the Eagle
This was my least favorite story of this graphic novel. I really hated how the tortoise and the eagle were just
instantly friends. I wish there was a bit more leading up than that. Everything seemed to happen so fast and the story was over. There was really no sanctification after reading this story because it didn't feel like there was a story.

Final Thoughts
Overall I have to admit I enjoyed my first graphic novel. Do I believe there a better graphic novels out there? Yes I do believe I did not find the best Graphic Novel. If you have any recommendations I would be willing to read them.

Thanks for reading


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